What are the stages of a kitchen remodel?

While you'll approach your project in phases, it's essential to have a solid plan for what the entire space will look like when it's finished. If possible, decide early on in your project if you plan to work with a general contractor or a designer (or both). These professionals can help you get better rates on materials and other purchases throughout the remodeling process and, once they analyze them from the start, they can help you decide which ideas are feasible and which are outside the scope of what is possible. By far, the easiest and most expensive way to remodel a kitchen is to transfer most of the planning, design, and management from workers to a general contractor.

However, the contractor has a significant cost, and you can save a lot of money if you're willing to work as your own contractor and hire and supervise individual subcontractors to do the practical work. Your cost savings will be greatly amplified if there are some of the tasks that you are willing and able to tackle yourself. While it has a wide range of possibilities, use one of five classic kitchen design plans. To facilitate movement, all the planes represent some form of that classic workflow model, the kitchen triangle.

Whether it's done by yourself or the general contractor's team, removing old appliances and tearing out old materials is the first step on the road to the new kitchen. This can be hard physical work, but it's not particularly complicated, unless the demolition involves removing the load-bearing walls. This can be part of the project you choose to do yourself. If so, remember to use safety equipment and take precautions if there is a possibility of lead- or asbestos-based paint.

And if you're going to do the demolition yourself, you'll need to have a rolling container or other means of collecting debris and any discarded appliances. Once the demolition is complete, a typical kitchen remodel begins in earnest with the contractor's carpentry team performing the framing work necessary for the project. Depending on the configuration of your new kitchen, this can involve some very important construction tasks. Are you adding or replacing windows? Or remove windows to increase closet space? Tear down walls to open the kitchen to the rest of the house? Even minor kitchen remodeling projects may need reinforced joists to support heavier appliances or built-in items, such as a kitchen island.

After framing work, the next step is to place new or redirected plumbing pipes, wiring, and HVAC ducts. This process is known as the mechanical introduction phase and is typically performed by licensed plumbers, electricians and HVAC professionals hired by the general contractor or by an owner who performs that function. When the pipeline review is complete, you will receive the first of the two inspections required by permit requirements. The inspector will review the installation while the wall surfaces are still removed to ensure that it has been done according to the code.

If you have done this work yourself, it is your responsibility to organize the inspection. As the electrician connects the new circuits to the kitchen, he will likely abandon any existing wiring in the kitchen in favor of installing new wiring for all the circuits in the kitchen. Again, the inspector must review and approve the preliminary installation of the wiring before the project can move on to the next phase. Once the inspector has completed and approved the plumbing, wiring and HVAC work, walls and ceilings can be closed.

The outer walls will be insulated with fiberglass to provide a buffer between the kitchen and inclement weather. With wall cavities accessible, now is a good time to install high-quality insulation. Next, the drywall is hung and the seams are glued and finished. Walls and ceilings are now primed and painted.

If the ceilings are textured, the texture is now applied. Insulating, installing drywall, and priming and finishing walls and ceilings are tasks that homeowners can do themselves to save money. However, keep in mind that professionals can do this job very quickly and are relatively inexpensive. The design phase is vital to the success of your kitchen remodeling project.

A general design concept defines what the kitchen will look like when it's finished and helps you make decisions about a variety of elements, such as color options, finishes and floors. Issues such as clearance, free space and available work space should be addressed during the design phase. The design of a project can be as simple as a hand-drawn design or plans provided by an architect. Renovating or updating countertops and cabinets may not require you to stop using the kitchen.

As in the upper phase of the wardrobe, simple painting and updates can generally be completed in a short period of time. However, replacing these elements interrupts the use of the kitchen because the pipes and electricity have to be disconnected. The exact measurements of new countertops cannot be taken until the base cabinets are fully installed, which can result in a day or two without a countertop. This phase is the logical time to replace sinks and faucets.

It's also wise to set aside a small amount for when things don't go as planned. Professional contractors typically spend about 10% of their budget on unforeseen expenses and repairs. The most expensive part of remodeling a kitchen are the kitchen cabinets. 29% of a person's initial funds are typically spent on buying and installing kitchen cabinets.

That's because you'll need cabinets that provide practical and aesthetic value. You'll want to invest in something durable that lasts for a while, but that also contributes to the overall look of the kitchen. Beyond this, while you don't need to do any of the work yourself, knowing the right way to remodel a kitchen can help you better plan and schedule activities related to it. Ask friends and family for recommendations, compare several candidates or proposals, and request examples of previous kitchen remodeling work.

This means that many kitchen remodeling projects require an electrician to update all the electrical service in the house. Learn more about budgeting for kitchen renovations to determine the right amount for your project and how to make the most of your remodeling budget. A completely remodeled kitchen is undoubtedly a worthwhile project that pays off, time and effort, and you can avoid feeling overwhelmed if you fully understand the steps involved in the process before you begin. Planning should include discussions about the construction phases that can be completed without interrupting the use of the kitchen, those that leave the kitchen temporarily unusable, and how it can operate without a kitchen for extended periods.

Most often, however, the stove, sink, and other appliances are unplugged and absent for at least a short period, or even many weeks, as the kitchen is being remodeled. With a realistic idea of what you need in a new kitchen and a determined flexibility mindset, you can start brainstorming and start refining a concrete and viable plan for your new kitchen. As complex as plumbing may be, the electrical service improvements for a large kitchen remodel can be even more extensive. Many kitchen remodeling projects end up disappointing the homeowner or surprising him with the cost simply because they didn't spend the time necessary to determine what they wanted and what they could afford.

Kitchen remodels often return a good portion of their cost in home equity improvements, but not all of it. While you can approach it as a learning process, most kitchen remodels are expensive and should be done with durability and longevity in mind. The next thing in the kitchen remodeling sequence is to complete the preliminary work, including any structures and plumbing. The standard recommendation is to spend no less than 5% and no more than 15% of the total value of your home on remodeling your kitchen.


Leon Gosier
Leon Gosier

Devoted bacon junkie. Incurable travel scholar. Total tea advocate. Award-winning twitter advocate. Proud beer trailblazer. Infuriatingly humble pop culture ninja.

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